Madhya Bhotekoshi Hydropower Project completed 75 percent of construction, with a target to be completed within a year


Kathmandu, Oct. 31: The overall construction of the 102 MW Madhya Bhotekoshi Hydropower Project under construction in Sindhupalchowk under the leadership of Chilime Hydropower Company has been completed 75 percent. The construction of the project is in full swing with the aim of completing it by 2079 BS.
The construction of the main structure of the project including the dam and desander pond is targeted to be completed before the onset of rains. The construction of the power house building is targeted to be completed within the next five months and the remaining 415 meters of the 7.2 km tunnel will be completed within three months.
Project got affected due to Jura landslide in July 2014, catastrophic earthquake in April 2015, blockade at Nepal-India border for about five and a half months from September 2015, floods in Bhotekoshi river in June 2016, floods in Bhotekoshi river and surrounding areas in June last year and epidemic of Covid-19.
The completion schedule of the project has been affected due to the natural calamity and poor performance of the Chinese company Kwangsi Hydro and Electrical Construction, the contractor for civil and hydromechanical works.
A team comprising Nepal Electricity Authority Managing Director Kulman Ghising, project promoter Madhya Bhotekoshi Hydropower Company Chairman Harraj Neupane and operators inspected the construction site on Saturday and got information about the construction progress.
The team has instructed to work with the project management, contractors and consultants by making an integrated schedule so that the construction will be completed in any case by December 2079.
Managing Director Ghising said that the construction progress of other structures except the main tunnel of the project, which was almost closed due to natural calamities, was encouraging.
“Even though the project-affected and Nepali citizens across the country have borrowed at high interest rates, they have bought shares and invested in the project.
“We are always ready to identify and solve the problems seen in the construction. Let’s take ownership of the project and work as a team. Let’s move forward with a final integrated schedule that will not be amended.”
NEA Deputy Managing Director and Chairman of the company Neupane said that the construction of the project has entered a special stage and it is necessary to move ahead by making an integrated schedule to complete the remaining works.
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ram Gopal Siwakoti, said that the construction of the project would be completed on time as the work of the contractor company has improved.
The representative of the contractor company has expressed commitment to complete the construction on time by increasing the manpower and equipment.
The Chinese company Kwangsi was contracted in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model of civil and hydromechanical work to prevent the cost of the project from increasing. Andrews is working on the electro-mechanical side. Andrews has already brought the equipment to the project site. Last year’s floods on the Bhotekoshi River flooded the store and damaged equipment.
The estimated cost of the project was Rs. 12.28 billion excluding interest for the construction period when the loan agreement was signed with the Employees Provident Fund. The updated estimated cost of the project is Rs. 15.32 billion excluding interest for the construction period. Out of the initial cost of the project under construction, 50 percent has been raised from own capital and 50 percent from loan.
Of the 51 percent founding shareholders of the company’s issued capital, 10 belong to Nepal Electricity Authority, 37 to Chilime Hydropower Company Limited and Sindhupalchok Hydropower Co. Lico 1, Nepal Arani’s Hydropower Company Lico 1, Sindhu Investment Company Pvt. Ltd. and Sindhu Bhotekoshi Hydropower Lico have 1 share.
49 percent are in the general shareholder group (19.5 percent of the employees of the Employees Provident Fund, 3.5 percent of the employees of the founding organization, 1 percent of the employees of the lending organization, 10 percent of the locals of Sindhupalchok district and 15 percent of the general public).
The company has already raised funds by issuing ordinary shares. The general investors of the company are 1 million 75 thousand.
The project will generate 542.2 million units of electricity annually. NEA will purchase the project’s electricity at Rs. 8.40 and Rs. 4.80 per unit in winter and rainy season respectively. The company will earn Rs 2.90 billion annually from this.